During a speech in the European Parliament, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the establishment of an integrated European Union Army. Just a few days prior, the French president Emmanuel Macron propagated the idea as well. The EU, which set out as an organization meant to facilitate economic cooperation and maintaining peace between European states, seems to be on its way to becoming a state in its own right.
The German Chancellor stressed that 160 defense and weapons systems exist in the EU while only 50-60 such systems are in use in the US.
“We have made a lot of progress in the area of structural military cooperation. That’s good and is mostly supported here. But we should, and I’m saying this also because of developments in recent years, we should work on a vision of one day establishing a real European army.” – Angela Merkel
Merkel threw in her support behind the idea, which French president Macron unsuccessfully tried to sell to President Trump, when they met in France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Macron had angered Trump by stating in a radio interview that a new EU Army should be created “in order to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States”. Trump tweeted in response that the words were very insulting and tbat Europe should first pay its fair share of Nato, which the US subsidizes greatly.
The situation didn’t improve following the meeting between the two presidents. After Trump returned to Washington DC from France, he tweeted again “Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”
Poland is yet to give its opinion on the matter. The head of the ruling party, Jarosław Kaczynski, was positive towards the notion a couple of years ago but much has changed recently. An increasing number of countries are starting to fear the EU being dominated by a Franco-German alliance. Poland may also feel discouraged from supporting such an idea given that the Polish government is in advanced talks with the US to create a permanent US military base in Poland.